Chinese smartphone maker Vivo said Tuesday it was “cooperating with authorities” in India after reports investigators raided dozens of its offices on suspicion of money laundering.
The searches make Vivo the latest Chinese tech company to face scrutiny by Indian investigative agencies, after similar raids against Xiaomi and Huawei earlier this year.
A Vivo spokesperson confirmed that the Enforcement Directorate – India’s financial crime-fighting agency – had raided multiple locations and seized company property.
“Vivo is cooperating with the authorities to provide them with all required information,” the spokesperson told AFP. “We are committed to be fully compliant with laws.”
Vivo specializes in budget handsets and had carved out 15 percent of India’s competitive smartphone market by last year, data from tech research firm Counterpoint showed.
Multi-year sponsorships of popular sporting events such as the Indian Premier League T20 cricket tournament have helped Vivo’s brand become a household name in India since its market debut in 2012.
Vivo’s parent company BBK Electronics also owns rival brand Oppo, which sells OnePlus and Realme smartphones and tablets.
Relations between India and China have been at a low ebb since a deadly Himalayan military stand-off between both nations in 2020.
In the aftermath, India’s home ministry banned hundreds of mobile applications of Chinese origin, including the hugely popular social media platform TikTok.
The government justified the bans as a necessary safeguard against threats to India’s sovereignty.
Anti-China sentiment has grown in India since the fatal 2020 troop clash, sparking calls for consumer boycotts of Chinese goods.
But China continues to be a key economic partner for India, with more than $125 billion in bilateral trade last year.
Vivo manufactures 50 million devices and employs 10,000 Indians at a factory near the capital New Delhi, the spokesperson told AFP.
India is home to the second-highest number of smartphone users after China.
Its smartphone market grew 27 percent year-on-year in 2021, according to Counterpoint, with annual sales exceeding 169 million units.
India seizes $725m from China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi over ‘illegal’ remittancesIndia seized $725 million from the local bank accounts of Xiaomi after a probe found the Chinese smartphone giant unlawfully sent money abroad in the ... World News
US blasts China’s support for Russia, vows to help IndiaA senior US diplomat again warned China of sanctions if it offers “material support” for Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, while also pledging to help ... World News
China foreign minister to visit India for first time since 2019Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit India Friday, a person familiar with the matter said, the highest-level visit from Beijing since deadly ... World News
India, Nepal vow to deepen ties as China’s influence looms largeNepal’s prime minister met his Indian counterpart on Saturday during a three-day trip to New Delhi and signed a slew of agreements to enhance their ... World News